R/C Soaring History - Page 50 - RC Groups
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Feb 17, 2013, 01:24 PM
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jrs_123's Avatar
From Model Builder Oct 1982, Nov 1982 By Bill Forey

Gorilla winch
Last edited by jrs_123; Feb 18, 2013 at 12:54 AM.
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Feb 17, 2013, 03:18 PM
glider pilot in training
webdragon's Avatar
Any video's of the gorilla in action?

I bet it was scary to be near both the gorilla or the safety winch.
Feb 17, 2013, 04:16 PM
Retirement is good
Originally Posted by webdragon
Any video's of the gorilla in action?

I bet it was scary to be near both the gorilla or the safety winch.
Video? I believe Sony released the first "camcorder" in 1983... after the fact so to speak. Not aware of any film.

Scary? Not really... just lots of respect... kind of like mono or a hose monster stretched to its limit in a way.
Feb 17, 2013, 10:35 PM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar

2M World Cup

This is the pits for the Santa Clarita Soaring Association at the 2 Meter World Cup in 1981.

The guy in the cowboy hat is Dave Alchin. I'm a bit vague on the names of rest after all these years.

Speaking of history, my avatar pic is me with a Solent Sailplanes "Royalist" about 1979 or '80.

Feb 20, 2013, 02:00 AM
Registered User

The White Trash!!

Hey Rick! Good to see a post from you. I'm still alive and kicking... I really wish I could find the White Trash I got from Stu Horton. I loved that plane and had a lot of fun with it. Clerx turned me onto a nice Zenith 3.7 that I flew for a couple years while acquiring a couple more. Now I'm flying a 3.8 X2 Xplorer and couldn't be happier..... Hope life is good.... I'm in Sutter Creek now. Been outa San Jose for 10 years......
================================================== =====

I fly R/C once a year with my nephew. He is eleven and I hope he takes an interest. Paul Naton showed up at the 15m nationals and he let me fly the latest HLG. Stunning performance.

Ben Clerx, Mike Reggan, Paul Trist and I flew a regional comp in 1998 in an ASK21 and had a blast. F3B guys make great full size racers. I still have the original WT fuselage from 1968. I will make some wings for it and fly woody/geezer class some day. It is a big fuselage due to the reed R/C it was designed for. Le Grey named it white trash after my father flew it through a light pole. Repairs were done in the color of silk I had on hand.

Feb 20, 2013, 02:06 AM
Registered User
Just a detail..... Pic #3 was a North/South meet held at the Visalia flying site. Does anyone know what happened to the Sterling Silver Bowl that Mark Smith sponsored for the N/S event? Let's try to find the bowl and bring the north/south meet back! The North ruled the skies!! Hahahahaahhaha....

Originally Posted by E_Richard
Dave Craig’s Post (#708) brought back lots of great memories…
Here’s a bit of history for the So. Cal folks from 30+ years ago…

I had the pleasure of competing with (and learning from) some truly wonderful people during the late 70’s through the 80’s. Went to lot’s of SULA monthlies, SC^2 and PSS’s Rose Bowl contests. Here are a few pics of some “younger” familiar faces (e.g. LJ, Fred Weaver, Jerry Kranick, Keith Kindrick, Craig Foxgord, Sid Hamilton, etc…) and a bit of history.

Since the 90’s, I have been “distracted” by Pattern and IMAC, but am really getting the itch to get back to soaring! Thanks to Thermaler for helping share the history and compiling a lot of soaring nostalgia!

A few comments about the pictures…

Pic 1 is a PSS Rose Bowl contest around 1981. Note the guy on the far left with the white hat, recoginize him?.....that is Gary Ittner.

Pic 2 should have lots of familiar faces (from ca. 1981)…A young LJ on the far left, I’m the “slouchy” kid on the far right (next to Sid Hamilton)

Pic 3 - Visalia winners in 1982 (maybe 1981), me on the far left standing, next to big Ben M.

Pic 4 (ca. 1980) is highly modified Zephyr Deuce (from Bob Owens). I used Bob’s 2m wing plan, but redesigned the fuse and tail…Built for Zoom launches!

Speaking of Zoom launches, anybody recognize picture 5? The “Gorilla” winch…for those that aren’t familiar, that big disc is a heavy flywheel….spin it up and then use the regular winch drum to launch…about half way up dive at the turnaround and step on the foot pedal that engages the drum onto the flywheel and ZOOOOMMMMM. One of two things happened, killer launch or epic wing failure! Larry J. could probably chime with more details (I believe it was a response to getting around the one-battery rule or 12 volt rule?)…This picture was taken around 1982 at the 2m World Cup Quals at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.

The final picture is of a gentleman that was a fixture at most So. Cal soaring meets, Howard Short. Back then, my brother and I traveled with Howard almost every weekend to contests all over the LA and Antelope Valley area. What great times!
Feb 20, 2013, 02:38 AM
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Here is what I'm currently flying....... Love the nice moldies.........
Feb 20, 2013, 09:06 PM
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prodjx's Avatar
I fly a CR Climaxx hlg and have been using the wing lay out that Bill Forrey proposed in his article in the Dec. Model Builder magazine. I've really loved the S-4083 airfoil as it is a great light wind sloper/thermaler. But, I've often wondered how the 4083 would work for a 2m. So I've scaled up the afore mentioned wing plan form to 2m. I'll will probably make it a foam cored veneered wing and have plan's on putting it on a 2m Banchee fuse. So here's the scaled layout with dimension's.
Feb 21, 2013, 07:05 PM
Registered User

Nic Wright Australian Visit late 90s

I could be off on the year...
Demonstrating F3B at Werrington, Sydney NSW.
This was my intro to true high performance gliders.
Arrived at the field and could see a speck above the field. Nic was
setting up for a speed run. Speed run was impressive, although I
was an accomplished slope soarer so I was less awed than most. The
impressive part for me was after the speed run watching Nic re
speck out in what seemed a few minutes, came down for another speed
run then re speck out for the third time.
So it was the genuine multi task aspect of both the model and the
pilot skill that blew my mind. Thanks Nic!

Feb 22, 2013, 06:26 PM
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jrs_123's Avatar
was Dec 1995

Originally Posted by prodjx
I fly a CR Climaxx hlg and have been using the wing lay out that Bill Forrey proposed in his article in the Dec. Model Builder magazine. ... .
Feb 23, 2013, 07:17 PM
Dave Register
okiesoar's Avatar
Originally Posted by Leadchucker
Planes were hauled up on home built winches with long shaft Ford starter motors powered by 6 volt batteries regulated by cobbled upbent metal foot pedals with plunger switches. They were hooked to Ford Econoline starter relays with the low speed having a coiled wire resistor from stripped out 14 gauge Romex, some winch drums were built up construction from tube and plate and even saw a few with wood drums, then somewhere along the line a cast machined aluminium drum became available. Some winches were open framed bolt up angle iron types and some were wood boxed design of which I still have one I built by eyeballing someone's at a contest.. A couple old days pictures and the still working woody winch.
I recently stumbled across this discussion while trying to track down some info on ISS and have had a terrific time strolling down memory lane with some of the stories. One item of note - Leadchucker's Woody Winch (see ya at Polecat in June I hope!). It reminded me of the early evolution of launching in SoCal.

Back in the early 70's while out in Riverside, CA, I stumbled across Chuck Beaman, Howard Sears and several other folks in SBD. At the time a few of us were soaring in Riverside, CA (myself, the Reed family, Paul Trist and a few others). Chuck, Howard and Manny were flying at an abandoned air base and we were flying at an undeveloped field near what is now University Middle School.

LSF was in it's early days and both groups used that as a means to foster interest. In particular, after an aspirant became Level I and needed contest points, we'd sponsor a contest at either the Riverside or San Bernardino field (which by then had moved to a HS field on the north side of the city somewhere). One of us (Chuck for SBD, me for Riverside) would slap together little trophies made from scrap wood and stencils and we'd generally have 8 or 10 folks and that would launch a new pilot into his contest career.

For instance, here's some the trophies from that time - Paul Trist's first LSF contest, the GNATS (Glider Nats since none of us could make it to the real one) and Tony Reed's first contest (TRCGC - Tony Reed Commemerative Glider Contest). Had to scrape off a bunch of dust but they are still good. I'm guessing this was around 1974-ish?

At that time we were launching on surgical tubing (what became known as hi-starts). That was after a year or so's brief and tragic experimenting with bungees. They had terrific acceleration but no stretch so you got this rocket launch that either blew the wings off, or sent the plane into an incredibly fast 3/4 loop. The last 1/4 was frequently inhibited by sod or whatever the field had on it at the time. On rare occasions a decent launch resulted but it seemed there had to be a better way.

Several of the guys had heard of winches - in particular there was published information from the Toffee Airfoilers for their winch so....

I had recently taken a shop course as part of a degree requirement at UCR so I got to make the drums. Chuck had a welder prepare the handles. I think Howard and Manny may have had something to do with the boxes. Before too long we had three 'woody' winches. Really bare-bones stuff with the Ford long shaft and battery in the box with a solenoid. The footpedal was bought at a local surplus store and would sometimes be mounted on a plywood plate if the ground was wet or soft.

The 'retrieve' button wasn't a 'retrieve' as we now know it - it was to pull the line down after the launch was complete. There was a metal cabinet hinge with a block of wood that would flip down onto the drum and you'd sit on the box, punch the retrieve button while holding the block of wood on the drum so it wouldn't run away. And you hoped you stopped it before either the line got tangled or wrapped around your ankle and gave you a terrific rope burn.

Since the winch ran flat-out, modulation was simply by toe-tapping and zooms weren't too much in vogue because the planes couldn't take it all that well and that would almost always make the drum run on a bit, tangle up the line and get you a good cussing out from the CD. For contests a winch operator would be assigned to sit on the winch and slap the block on the drum just as a 'zoom' was attempted in an occasionally successful attempt to keep the line from snarling.

I'm thinking we made those winches around 1973 or so and I know we lugged them to just about every SC2 contest held in SoCal for several years - by which time most clubs had their own supply of better winches.

This one still sits in my basement and has some 35 year old braided winch line on it.

That original group of guys in the Riverside/SanBernardino area eventually morph'ed into the Inland Soaring Society.

- Dave Register
Feb 23, 2013, 09:35 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar

Sometime around 1978 I built a,winch in a box from magazine plans that used the Ford 6 volt long shaft. Interestingly, the drum was fabricated from a,wooden rolling pin and 1/4" plywood sides. Surprisingly, it worked well and held up until I replaced it with a more modern winch.

Happy Landings,

Mar 10, 2013, 11:23 AM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar

I'm holding the Pegasus, And Mike Jendras is the other guy. I guess it could be posted or whatever to the R/C Soaring History thread. Mike has since passed away and I believe this pictuer was taken at one of the SOAR's Great Races back in the 80's. I eventually sold the Pegasus and I think Jack Hiner told me many years later it was crashed.

Dave Haertel "

Thank You Dave, it is bits like this that I envisioned for this thread.

Mar 17, 2013, 06:46 PM
Is it coming or going??
Woodbender's Avatar

Col. Robert Thacker

I thought those who follow this thread would enjoy knowing that I saw Col. Robert Thacker not three hours ago. He was at our flying field messing around with one of his jets.

As one of the club members was flying his glider, the good Col. wandered down to offer comments on the fine job the pilot was doing.

How could he resist? The glider was, after all, a Baby Bowlus; a design with which Col. Thacker is quite familiar, as a lot of you know.

The link below has a pretty cool photo:

Last edited by Woodbender; Mar 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM. Reason: corrected mis-spelling on ''Bowlus"
Mar 17, 2013, 08:42 PM
Registered User

Great post on the Col. Thacker. I was one of the lucky Mid Westerners that shared the SOAR NATS field with him. He is a most amazing person, this was your lucky day, thanks for sharing.


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